Three Times and An Old Lady - AFR Voice Ep. 39

They’ve done it again. For the third year running the Scudetto will be sitting pretty in Juventus’ trophy cabinet after they took the title at the weekend without even having to kick a ball. On the show this week we take a look at what’s been another superb domestic season for the Old Lady, as well as trouble at the Coppa Italia final, a certain aging striker who might just find himself sneaking onto the plane to Brazil this Summer, and a 24 goal thriller in Serie D. And no, you didn’t read that wrong – 24 GOALS.

Things may be wrapped up in Italy, but the opposite can be said of La Liga. After a weekend when neither Barcelona, Atlético or Real Madrid managed to notch up a win the three-way title race continues to be wide open with only one thing now clear – it will be going down to the final day. So why not join us and get bogged down in the seemingly infinite potential outcomes involved in what’s going to be a truly great run-in for fans of permutations and confusing head-to-head records.

If that sounds a bit much, then things are a bit simpler in the Premier League where we cast a keen eye on a Man City side edging ever closer to the title, Chelsea running out of steam, and plenty of drama at the bottom of the table both on and off the pitch.

Away from Europe, we’ll head Down Under where a new A-League champion has been crowned after this weekend’s Grand Final between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers. Hear us talk through the game, as well as discuss why there could be a strong Aussie showing in next year’s Asian Champions League, and how the league moving away from big name players isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Sócrates by Dan Leydon

He was a doctor, “O Doutor” even. He was a world class footballer, and a world class revolutionary who was the heart of soul of Brazil’s 1982 World Cup side. He also brought democracy to his club Corinthians, which had an echo effect throughout the country. 

He helped create a brand of “hypnotic football, football as sorcery, impossibly languid and creative, as louche and seductive as Bowie and Jagger and Richards all rolled into one.” He was Brazilian futebol’s philosopher king, and while he is gone, his spirit lives on in his country. [Find more of Dan Leydon work here, and get it here. Posted by Eric.]

Christmas Special - AFR Voice Ep8

With Christmas drawing near, and the European leagues taking a well-earned rest (while the Premier League does quite the opposite), AFR Voice has delved into its sack of festive audio treats to bring you all of the action from the PL and the rest of Europe over the last couple of weeks.

We’ll be taking a good look at all things Premier League, where Marouane Fellaini has been losing his head by using his head, Reading vs Arsenal continues to be possibly the most goal heavy fixture of all time, and QPR get warmed up for a busy January transfer window with their first win in the top flight since what feels like about 1994.

We’ll then be hopping in our sleigh and shooting over to Japan to pick up the pieces from Chelsea’s beating at the hands of Corinthians in the Club World Cup Final, before doubling back to Europe to see why Lionel Messi can’t stop scoring, why Sebastien Giovinco really should be kept on the Juventus bench for the foreseeable future, and why kitchens in Dortmund are soon to be the cleanest on the continent.

As always, you can get in touch with the team by tweeting @AFRvoice or emailing You can also subscribe to AFR Voice on iTunes and find us on Soundcloud.

Corinthians x Time Lapse

Roberto Massao Kumamoto is an expert when it comes to all things Time Lapse and Tilt Shift, and his videos primarily capture Brazilian culture. In his most recent work, he took in a Corinthians match and the results are just about as spectacular as you would expect.

Centenary Ambitions Crushed

By Gordon Fleetwood, writing from NYC

2009 was drawing to a close, and the new year was around the corner. 2010 signaled the start of a new decade, and a time of celebration for fans of Corinthians.  The new year completed the club’s one hundredth year of existence, and celebrations were in order. Since its establishment, Corinthians has grown to be one of the most storied clubs in Brazilian football, boasting the second biggest fan base in the country, and an impressive trophy cabinet. Yet, that trophy haul had one piece missing. A trophy Corinthians didn’t have, yet one all their state rivals possessed. For all their success, Corinthians had never won South America’s premier club competition, the Copa Santander Libertadores, 

Thus, with all the festivities that were planned, the Copa Libertadores trophy was the set piece that every Corinthiano wanted to grace the party. What better way to mark one hundred years of existence? The club had gained automatic entry into the group stages of the competition by winning the 2009 Copa do Brasil. Now, it was time to conquer it, for the fans, for the club, for history.

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Atletico Madrid sign Brazilian midfield ace Elias

Europa League champions Atletico Madrid announced the capture of Corinthians star Elias for a reported €7m. The 25 year old has agreed a 4 and a half year contract and should be presented to fans tomorrow after completing a medical. Elias is regarded as one of Brazil’s brightest futures and prior to the transfer, a move to Portuguese champions Benfica was imminent. 

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The Brazilian Football System: Confusion, Disorganization, Opportunity!

By Fernando Sell

The football season in Brazil normally begins in the second or third week of January and ends in early December. A Brazilian season practically lasts one year; it is packed with matches and tournaments.

Firstly, the State Championships take place which is where all the clubs of one state compete. The states in Brazil are huge and have many big clubs in them, for example, in the state of São Paulo the biggest clubs are: Corinthians, São Paulo, Palmeiras and Santos. The Championships runs across a period of three to four months, ending in late April or early May. The most popular ones are “Carioca” – State of Rio de Janeiro, “Paulista” – São Paulo, “Mineiro” - Minas Gerais and Gaúcho – Rio Grande do Sul.

The format of the Championships varies. Some have a normal league format, with clubs playing home and away fixtures, the 1st and 2nd place team playing in the final. Other Championships play one round of matches and then go into the knockout round.

I believe that the State Championships should cease. They make the big clubs sacrifice their pre-season because they play many games against smaller and weaker clubs. The level and quality of football is much lower and top teams don’t always take it seriously. Furthermore, the winning teams don’t benefit from their winning form; their performances in the national league are very different.

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Good Causes: Playing for the Environment in 2010

By Eric Beard

Brasileiro Serie A club Corinthians, home to Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos, may have just set the bar for all clubs around the world when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendly points. Corinthians have announced that they will plant 100 trees for EVERY single match they play in, even cup matches. And on top of that, for every goal that is scored by a Corinthians player the club will plant another 100.

Apparently the initiative by the Brazilian club is part of the “Playing the Environment” project, which has team up with “Banco Cruzeiro do Sol.” According to the project’s press release (available here, translated to English), the trees will be planted in the beautiful Ecological Park in São Paulo. 

“”The reality puts us ahead of not only economic challenges, but also environmental. We take our first steps in that direction with the Playing for the Environment, “said Luis Octavio Indio da Costa, CEO of Banco Cruzeiro do Sul. “Corinthians is the ideal partner to mobilize the general public. It’s a successful club, with some of the biggest supporters of the country and it’s committed to important causes. For us it is a great pleasure to start playing for the Environment in 2010. “

So exactly how much trees do Corinthians expect to plant in the upcoming Serie A season? Well, last year they played 47 league/cup matches and scored 66 scored in those games, which means that if they do the same next season they’ll plant over 11,000 trees. But no one in the Corinthians’ administrations want to be called a “green” club, after all, the club’s rivals, Palmeiras, wear green.

What are your thoughts on this move by Corinthians? I personally think it’s brilliant, glad to see so much positivity towards sustainability in Brazil, a country that is infamous for its pollution in major cities. And here’s a nice remix of another great product of Brazil.

Football Rivalries in Brazil

By Fernando Sell

Brazil is a nation with a fierce and historic rivalry between clubs. However, the characteristics of the rivalries are different in comparison to European ones.

As Brazil is a huge country that is composed of many states, it is rare to see a heated rivalry between two teams from different states.

The most intense rivalries are those between clubs of the same state; this mainly happens in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The rivalries are primarily stimulated through state championships, also through the league known as O Brasileirão and the Brazilian Cup. When two rival teams play against each other the match is known as a derby and teams can play against each other 6 or more times in one year.

Grêmio vs Internacional

Grêmio and Internacional are fierce rival clubs from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state Rio Grande do Sul. The state is practically divided in half by the clubs, half the state is painted blue and the other red. The historic derby between the two sides is known as the Gre-Nal.

Many players have played against each in the Gre-Nal, but one of the greatest player vs player moments was between Ronaldinho (Grêmio) and Dunga (Internacional). In one of the derbies, Ronaldinho destroyed Dunga with his tricks and flicks, and the Brazilian superstar scored a beautiful chip in the game.

This particular state championship in which the two teams compete for is called “Campeonato Gaúcho.” In 2009 Internacional were the winners, with arch rivals Grêmio finishing in second. Inter have won the competition 39 times and Grêmio 35 times.

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